Hello, how are you, g’day and welcome to you! This post is part of a series I’m working my way through in the month of October, called Swim Your Own Race. If you’d like to start at the beginning (it is a very good place to start, after all) you can do so, right here. I hope you enjoy diving in!


There’s an interesting personality difference between the Hubs and myself, and it creates good conversations, and I suppose sometimes I teensy bit of conflict. But it’s very well described based on our swimming careers. You might be able to guess it — I think I’ve mentioned it before.

HH is a careful, calculating distance swimmer. He can pace himself well, bring strategy to bear on a situation, and generally likes to take his time and have a plan in mind before diving in.

I. am. a. Sprinter.

I had to use periods just to slow that sentence down. I get impatient in strategy sessions because I’m ready to get out there and do the thing that needs doing. I don’t tend to always pace myself particularly well — I just all-out go for it until I have to stop. So when it comes to completing something, I generally find that 10% inspiration and try to make it work for me about 90% of the time. If I don’t feel inspired, I have a hard time getting it done. And if it’s hard work and it doesn’t have to be done, the good Lord knows I will procrastinate that hard work I’m not inspired to do until it either becomes absolutely necessary or becomes a missed opportunity.


While these personality differences sometimes create challenges for us as a couple and as a team, I think just realizing that we are different has helped us to make it through the moments where our “pacing differences” put us at odds with each other.

Now I might like to proclaim my bent toward being a sprinter an asset, or even an endearing personality flaw, but the truth is, it’s downright problematic sometimes. Here’s why:

If it ain’t easy, I don’t want to do it.

And sometimes,

If it ain’t easy, and I don’t want to do it, I like to assume the Lord doesn’t want me to, either.

Now, we’re getting to the second act of this Shakespearean comedy — the conflict. (Or is this play a tragedy…?) One of my dreams is to write more than just blog posts. I dream about writing books that will encourage and challenge and inspire. I dream about speaking in front of large groups and doing the same thing.

But unless I’m mistaken, publishing contracts don’t fall from the clouds.

So there is a conflict afoot, and perhaps you can see it! I’m a Sprinter. Consistently working on a project that takes longer than a blog post is not always my forté. In fact, I find it awfully challenging, when life is full of so many other things to do!

I’ve mentioned before, I think, how much I’ve been learning since I started homeschooling the Bear. Homeschooling certainly isn’t an overnight gig, and it’s certainly not in keeping with a Sprinter’s personality.

But I’ve discovered the truth of this little whisper from Isaiah 28:10:

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.

Any grand project, any great symphony, any fantastic piece of literature was created one brick, one note, one word at a time.

Slowly and deliberately accomplishing a year of homeschool happens one school day at a time, one hour at a time, one subject at a time.

Now I know I’m not the only dreamer in the crowd, so let me bring this discussion to bear on where you might be in your journey.

Do you ever conveniently assume that because something is a challenge, it’s not the will of the Lord? Perhaps you’re dreaming about furthering your education, getting yourself into better shape, learning a new instrument or skill, or writing and singing music for thousands of people to enjoy. But once you’ve started the first lap of this race, do you start to putter out?

Here’s an incredible truth worth leaning into:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. {Eph. 3:20-21}

What am I saying here? God is able to do exceedingly abundantly — some translations say immeasurably more (NIV) or superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think (AMP) — according to our own willingness to let Him work in and through us.

But that last little piece of the puzzle is an important one — remember, we were created with the precious gift of free will — and think this through with the Amplified version: Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able … Paul is saying glory to the God who is able to exceed our every expectation abundantly, but what He does through and for and regarding us is somehow closely knit to what we allow Him to do in us.

Are we well into the lofty heights of the Fourth Act of the play? Let me try to pull this thing together with the denouement — the resolution, if you will.

You may feel well settled into what you might call an ordinary life but I want to encourage you that God is able to do something extraordinary through you. If you are willing to overcome the fear of failure or of making a mistake, and if you are willing to get it settled right down deep in your heart that anything worth doing is not going to be easy, and that something presenting you with a challenge doesn’t mean it’s not of the Lord, why then, by Jove, you’ve got it. As you allow God to work in and through you, so you will find that He is indeed able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you ever imagined, with your life — no matter what you are called to do.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once spoke about this concept to a group of students at a junior high school, just six months before his assassination:

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Handel or Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.

The race is not always given to the swift. The battle is not always won by the strong. The greatest achievements of your life will be those that you consistently made effort toward. You were willing to swim the laps and acknowledge that it wasn’t a Sprint that would get you there. You were willing to go the distance, swimming your own race.

For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.

Go for it, today friends. And then, go for it again tomorrow…